Wearing a well-fitted mask or respirator helps to protect you and those around you by preventing the spread of COVID-19. When combined with good ventilation, staying current with vaccines, and other precautions, wearing a mask can reduce the chances of serious illness and the disruptions that COVID-19 causes in our communities.
Local health jurisdictions, health care facilities or providers, school districts, and individual businesses may choose to require masks. If you are in a setting where COVID-19 safety measures are in place, please follow them. The goal of these safety measures is to protect staff, employees, patients, students, yourself, and others. DOH guidance (PDF) provides additional information on where masks are still required or recommended.
Even though masks are no longer required in many places, we recommend that people ages 2 years and older wear masks in the following circumstances:
- When indoors in public transportation settings
- Indoors when Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 hospital admission level is high
- Indoors when CDC COVID-19 hospital admission level is medium or high if you are at high risk of getting very sick. At these hospital admission levels, people who have household or social contact with someone at high risk of getting very sick should consider wearing a high-quality mask when indoors with them.
- When you have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19, in accordance with recommendations in What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (PDF), COVID-19 Symptom Decision Trees (PDF), and What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 (PDF)
People may want to continue to wear a mask for added protection against COVID-19, especially those who are immunocompromised, living with someone immunocompromised, or who may just feel safer wearing a mask. Everyone should assess their own personal risk when making this decision.
Additionally, everyone should continue to use COVID-19 prevention measures such as staying up to date on vaccination, testing, using good ventilation indoors, and staying home when you’re sick.